Imagine this. After a busy weekend, you’re ready to begin your productive Monday. But when you log into Microsoft 365 to start work, your password slips your mind.
Since it’s a strong password that contains a random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, you know you’re going to have a hard time figuring it out.
So, you need to recover your password. Unfortunately, it’s taking the system a long time to process your request. Before you know it, you’ve lost an hour of your Monday to simply logging in.
However, you could avoid all of this with multi-factor authentication.
First, What Is Two-Step Authentication?
Have you ever opened up your tablet or phone and needed to scan your face before it would unlock?
Well, that’s multi-factor authentication in action.
Multi-factor authentication (also known as two-step or multi-step authentication, or MFA) gives your business an extra level of security. It does so by setting up a two-step process of logging into your devices or programs. This means you can rest assured that you’re taking responsible measures to protect your business and data.
You see, when you have two-step authentication enabled, it’s like putting another locked door in front of all your data. Using two-step authentication with a strong password makes your data much harder for hackers to breach. There are many options for including Multi-factor authentication in the login process. Users can scan their fingerprints before logging in, enter a one-time token, or answer a personal question.
So, as you can imagine, multi-step authentication brings security and time-saving benefits to your business with little effort. In fact, Microsoft cites that MFA users can stop 99.9% of account compromises. After you’ve set it up with help from IT professionals, you’ll wonder why you never took the time to use it in the first place!
Ready to leave IT troubles behind you for good? When you partner with IT professionals like our staff at Waterdog Computer Works, we’ll equip your business with the latest technology suited to your unique challenges. Contact us to start the conversation.
How Does MFA Work?
Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of verification to your systems. It does this once a user has a registered account with a login name and password. Then it prompts the user to provide a key. This helps verify the person attempting to log in is the same person who owns the account.
Here are a few examples of what an MFA might look like:
- Voice recognition
- Retina scanning
- Fobs, badges, & USB devices
As you can see, sometimes MFA uses physical objects or items. Other times, it uses personal knowledge or biometrics.
How To Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication
While the setup will vary between platforms, you can often find the option to turn on MFA under account settings. From there, you can choose what kind of authenticator you’d like to use, and you can enable more than one. Additionally, companies like Google and Microsoft have mobile applications you can download to act as authenticators for their programs. These apps will give you a one-time code that works for a short window of time.
Usually, setting up two-step authentication is simple and quickly done. And since MFA adds additional security to your business, there’s no reason not to use it!
Although it might feel inconvenient at first, using multi-factor authentication adds only a few seconds to your login time. In some cases, it can even make logging in faster and easier. So when a few seconds stand in the way of securing your businesses against costly cyber attacks, the choice to use MFA is easy.
Protect Your Remote Workers & Their Data
When your employees are working remotely, they may leave their home office space to work at a coffee shop now and then. It’s nice to get outside of a familiar space for a boost in inspiration. But because public networks are less secure than private networks, setting up an MFA for your remote employees allows them to stay safe even when they’re working away from home.
Public networks tend to have simpler passwords. A lot of the time, they’re open for people to join without a password at all. That means the devices employees use to access company files are at a greater risk of cyber attacks than those on a closed network.
By creating fake Wi-Fi networks to imitate a public network, hackers can trick users into connecting to their network and then steal data. Sometimes, hackers can see what’s shared over the network. Or, if your device isn’t secure with MFA or a virtual private network (VPN), malware can find its way onto your device – infiltrating all of your files and stealing data.
However, remote employees can experience a breach of their home network if they aren’t practicing good habits online. In fact, 20% of organizations have experienced a security breach because of their remote workers. Two-factor authentication can stop a bad situation from becoming much worse.
Simplify Password Recovery
Password recovery becomes a much simpler process when you have multi-factor authentication. If you happen to forget your password, you can quickly use one of your multi-factor keys to regain access to your account. This also allows you to change your password. One of the most common ways of doing this is having a text message sent to your phone containing a code.
Additionally, if a hacker was attempting to log in to your account, two-step authentication can ensure they don’t get past the second locked gate. Or, if you get locked out of your own account because you’ve mistyped your password a few times, MFA can get you back into an account fast.
You’ve spent years building a business and earning your clients’ trust. But hackers can take all of your hard work away if they decide to target your business with ransomware. Partner with Waterdog Computer Works to find long-lasting IT solutions that give you the security you need to not only run smoothly but continue to grow. You can put IT troubles behind you today by scheduling a call with us.
Since strong data security is key in maintaining HIPAA compliance, it’s smart to use multi-factor authentication. While MFA might not be an explicit requirement in healthcare, MFA is necessary for remaining compliant with PCI-DSS if you process credit card payments.
Businesses can face fines, back taxes, and even more financial penalties for being non-compliant. And if you don’t resolve non-compliance, you may have to shut your doors for good.
Offer MFA To Your Customers
If you have an online system and your customers log in to pay their bills or order products, it’s a good idea to set up MFA for them. This not only protects your customers’ sensitive data but also makes your entire system more secure. Most customers will appreciate having extra security measures in place, even if MFA can feel a little inconvenient.
Waterdog: The IT Experts On Your Side
Multi-factor authentication can save you and your team time and increase your productivity. However, learning how to set up an MFA or why it’s important can sometimes be complex.
That’s why Waterdog Computer Works has partnered with business owners since 2002 to implement the highest-quality IT solutions that help businesses grow.